The Dutch Parliament to Consider Plain Packaging For Vapes

D66, a social liberal political party in the Netherlands, will be proposing a measure that similar to plain packaging for cigarettes, would make vapes look boring and uniform.

The proposal will be submitted to the Dutch parliament this week and it aims to make vapes less attractive to teenagers. RTL Nieuws reports that the measure has the support of the majority in parliament.

“Young people now think it’s cool to have such an accessory with glitter while vaping is extremely unhealthy,” D66 parliamentarian Jeanet van der Laan said as quoted by NL Times. “The vapes resemble a lip gloss or a marker. They are often colorful, and there are vapes full of glitter. Parents often have no idea exactly what the young people are carrying. Super worrying.”

“E-cigarettes should look as neutral and uniform as possible. Preferably they should resemble regular cigarettes. Or else just white or black. Because it’s just smoking,” she added.

The Netherlands’ tobacco display ban
Meanwhile, a regulation banning the display of tobacco products online or in retail stores across the Netherlands, has gone into effect on January 1st 2022. The display ban has already been applicable to tobacco products in supermarkets since the 1st of July 2020.

Now also being applied to retail stores and online retailers, the ban has been extended to include vaping products, heated tobacco products and herbs intended for smoking. With regards to online stores, while adverts of the devices themselves are forbidden, images of accessories, such as ashtrays and lighters, will still be permitted.

A few months ago, health experts and entities in the Netherlands called out the local ineffective tobacco policy as smoking rates among young people keep rising. Almost four years following the launch of the government’s extensive “smoke-free generation” plan, the number of young people who smoke has actually increased, highlight these experts. “Structural price increases for cigarettes have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking,” said Wanda de Kanter, a pulmonologist and anti-smoking activist.

She added that lobbying by Big Tobacco has led to the removal of structural price increases for cigarettes. To this effect, a ban on the tobacco lobby would be essential for any progress in tobacco control, said De Kanter. “This is the only way to keep the tobacco industry under control. Manufacturers are always trying to introduce something new, such as a vapor or vaping.”